It's a different kind of Darwin Award: the Playmate gene, passed from mother to daughter, ensuring survival of the fittest and constant attention from males of the species. Examine the evidence before you in the curvy form of Crystal McCahill, the 25-year-old daughter of Miss August 1968 Gale Olson. "I think every girl who has the figure for it wishes she could be a Playmate, and I'm no exception," said Gale in her Playmate interview. "All I can say is, I am lucky!" Yet when luck strikes twice, it seems less like luck than destiny. (It has happened just once before, when Miss December 1960 Carol Eden saw her daughter Simone grace the Centerfold in February 1989.)
"I always knew my mother was in Playboy," says the Illinois-born Crystal. "I remember telling my brothers and sisters, 'I'm going to do that one day. I'm going to do the exact same pose.' I mentioned it to my mom when I was about 15, and she said, 'Wait a few years and then decide.' Now she's totally for it and so excited for me."
Gale said she wanted to have a large family when she spoke to Playboy back in 1968, and she got her wish: Crystal has two brothers and four sisters, ranging in age from 14 to 39. "I really can't imagine life without them," says Crystal. "I think it makes everything that much better when you are able to rely on your family and have someone there whenever you need them."
Miss May 2009 celebrated her sixth birthday on a plane flying with her family to Hawaii, where she lived for several years and went to a Japanese school. She moved with her family back to Chicago and was soon defying child labor laws to work at a pizza parlor. "My dad lied to get me the job," she explains, "and said I was 15 when I was 14. For my 15th birthday my co-workers gave me a sweet-16 necklace. I felt so bad. To this day they think I'm a year older."
Still in Chicago, she lives with her "chill" Pomeranian, Elvis, and tends bar at several hot Chicago clubs. After hours the sexy mixologist seeks a different scene entirely. "I don't like to go out to loud clubs all the time," she says. "I like having people over to my house. My girlfriend once planned a slumber party – gossiping, pillow fights, hide-and-seek – all the good stuff. I've always met my boyfriends through my friends because I'm very focused at work, and I think it's unprofessional to give my number out when I'm behind the bar." Come on – never? Crystal cracks. "Yeah, I've done it," she laughs. "But it's not a good idea. They always say a girl dates someone like her father, right? I grew up always laughing, having a good time and not taking myself too seriously. I definitely like funny guys – Dane Cook is my main crush right now. I'm also very spontaneous and always need change."
Everything changed quickly for Crystal after she tried out during our 55th anniversary Playmate search. She received positive feedback, and then she ran into the Girls Next Door, filming at Hooters. "Bridget came over and asked if she could interview me for her radio show," says Crystal. "A few days later I ran into Photography Director Gary Cole for a second time at a restaurant. He said, 'Yes, I think it's meant to be.' Then I met Hef, whom I love and think is such an incredible person. All those years I waited to be a Playmate like my mom, and this just happened so fast. I think if you believe in it, you can do whatever you want."
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